If you are a big fan of butter bread, then you will absolutely love this French butter brioche recipe. It is a soft and light bread that has a rich, flavorful, buttery smell and taste. It’s so good!
Fair warning, this recipe is an overnight one. Initially, the dough is left to raise for 2 hours at room temperature, then refrigerated overnight (12 hours). The next day, it is placed at room temp for 1 hour, shaped and left again for 1 hour before baking for 30 minutes at 350°F. It is a time consuming bread recipe, but it is so worth it when you are craving for buttery goodness.
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Ingredients for butter brioche
For this recipe, I used simple ingredients:
- all purpose flour
- milk (optional)
Equipment for this recipe
To make this brioche, I used my KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. The dough gets really sticky, so it’s easier to use the stand mixer or mix with a spatula than by hand. That being said, I have kneaded the dough by hand before and the bread came out just as fabulous.
How to make French butter brioche
There are a couple ways to start this recipe.
One way is to mix the yeast with warm milk to activate it, then add to a bowl with the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, yeast) already combined. Next, mix in the eggs completely followed by the butter. Knead until you form a sticky dough.
I usually start the recipe differently. Here’s what I do:
Organize the ingredients
Step 1: Place the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and eggs on the countertop for at least an hour so they become room temperature. Since, I am not activating the yeast beforehand, having the ingredients out of the fridge and warmed up helps the dough.
Knead the dough
Step 2: Add the room temperature ingredients to a large bowl or your stand mixer with the dough attachment. Mix for about 10 minutes to activate the gluten and form a sticky dough.
The dough may seem dry, but keep kneading, it will come together. If you are concerned though, feel free to add a tablespoon of milk while mixing.
Step 3: Cube the cold butter and add it a little at a time to the dough. Knead until it is fully incorporated before adding more butter cubes. The dough will still be pretty sticky after all the butter is incorporated.
Proof at room temperature
Step 4: Place the dough in a large bowl. Cover and leave on the countertop for 2 hours. The yeast will activate in that time and the dough will more than double.
Proof in the fridge
Step 5: Place the dough in the fridge overnight (or for at least 8 to 12 hours). This will slow down the yeast fermentation and build flavor in the brioche bread. My dough did not rise much more in the fridge.
Remove from fridge
Step 6: Take the dough out of the fridge and leave it on the countertop to come to room temperature. This should take about an hour or so.
Form the dough
Step 7: Butter and flour your loaf pan.
Step 8: Divide the dough into 6 balls (they don’t have to be evenly sized) and place in the prepared loaf pan. For a fancier butter brioche, divide the dough into three and roll each section into logs. Braid the three strands together and place in the loaf pan.
Step 9: Cover the dough and allow to raise for 1 hour.
Step 10: While the dough is rising, preheat the oven at 350°F.
Step 11: You can brush the dough with milk if you like and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
The bread will have a wonderful thick crust, especially at the top. It’ll also have a melt in your mouth, soft, buttery texture and taste. Serve hot or cold with your favorites.
Easy French butter brioche recipe
Butter Brioche Recipe
- Stand mixer
- 250 g all purpose flour (2 cups of sifted flour)
- 8 g yeast
- 25 g sugar (2 tbsp)
- 6 g salt (1 tsp)
- 3 medium eggs (approx. 160 g)
- 185 g butter (3/4 cup)
- 15 mL milk (optional; 1 tbsp)
- Bring the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and eggs to room temperature by keeping them on the countertop for at least an hour.
- Add the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and eggs to a large bowl or stand mixer.
- Mix together.
- Knead for approx. 10 minutes to form a sticky dough (add milk if the dough is too dry).
- Cube the cold butter.
- Add one cube to the dough and incorporate fully.
- Repeat until all of the butter is incorporated.
- Leave to proof for 2 hours.
- Place the dough in the fridge overnight (for at least 8 to 12 hours).
- Remove from the fridge. Place on the countertop for 1 hour.
- Grease a loaf pan.
- Divide the dough into 6 balls.
- Place the balls in the loaf pan side by side.
- Leave to proof for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven at 350°F.
- Bake the loaf for 25 to 30 minutes.